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MACEDONIA 



AND 



THE MACEDONIAN 



POPULATION. 



(^ 



V 



.^o^h: 



MACEDONIA 

AND THE MACEDONIAN 
POPULATION. 



MACEDONIA 

and the Macedonian Population. 



It is well known from history that the Balkan 
Peninsula was through centuries the theatre of the 
struggle of the newly arrived nations, who either 
moved across it further on, or settled on its territories. 
But not one of the conquerors has succeeded to create 
one unit out of the nations of this Peninsula, as its 
oreographic construction made a great obstacle to such 
an unification. 

When in the middle of the XlVth century the Turks 
for the first time crossed over to Europe, they found in 
the Balkan Peninsula three empires — the entirely 
exhausted Byzantine Empire, weak and dependent 
Bulgaria, and the powerful Serb Empire. The centre 
of the Serb Empire was then not Serbia as she was 
before the war of 1912, bvit the Old Serbia and Northern 
Macedonia, with Skoplye (Uskub) as the capital town. 

Having taken firm footing in the Balkan Peninsula, 
the Turks have gradually extended their rule over it, 
and even further outside its boundaries. For more 
than four centuries the greater part of the territories of 
that Peninsula belonged to the Turkish Empire, and 
the nations, living on those territories, after stubborn 
and desperate struggles, succumbed under their power. 



4 MACEDONIA 

Bat although all those nations during the whole time 
of the Turkish domination were simply Turkish 
" Rayah," mass of people without any rights, and 
although they were constantlj'^ and in all sorts of 
manners oppressed, still the great majority of them 
succeeded in preserving their distinctive national 
features : their religion, language, national customs, 
etc. And when in the beginning of the XlXth century 
the Turkish power began to decay, when some of the 
Balkan nations rose up to liberate themselves from the 
Turkish direct government, then the national conscious- 
ness of the nations, up to then subjugated, commenced 
strongly to awake, each group naturally aspiring to be 
united with their natural elements. 

That tendency is permanent and indomitable. It 
has created in the Balkan Peninsula the questions of 
Nationalities, of which one of the most important ones 
is exactly The Jlacedoiiian Qufstion. That question is 
still on the Order of the day, inasmuch as the Bulgars 
continue to make efforts, although without any right 
or reason, to prove to the world, that the population of 
Macedonia is of the Bulgar origin. 

To throw more and true light on that question, we 
will here state, although in the shortest sketch, certain 
historical undoubted facts, which will clearly prove 
how entirely groundless is the Bulgarian assertion that 
the Macedonian population is of the Bulgar origin. 



When the Slavs an*ived in the Balkan Peninsula, 
they have settled also in Macedonia. The Macedonian 
Slavs are therefore a part of the Southern Slavs. But 
besides the general name of Slavs the specific name of 
the Serbs is early enough mentioned in Macedonia. 
The Byzantine Emperor, Constantine Porphyrogenete, 
wrote about the I'oOth year, that the town Srbitsa, in 
the Salonica district along the river Bistritsa at the foot 
of Olympus, got its name from the Serbs who lived 
there. That town is known to-day under the Turkish 
name Serf id je. 



AND THE MACEDONIAN POPULATION. 5 

The Serbs came to the Balkan Peninsula already in 
the first half of the Vllth century. The Serbs, like 
other Slavs of the Peninsula, were of the Indo-European 
race. Towards the end of the seventh century a 
Mongol tribe, called Bulgars, invaded the territory 
between the Danube and the Balkan, and subjugated 
the Slavs who lived there. Being of quite a different 
race, speaking quite different language, the Bulgars' 
culture was quite different from that which the Balkan 
Slavs possessed. The Southern Slavs, conquered by 
the Bulgars, did not like their conquerors. Their 
hatred was quite intelligible, seeing that their masters 
were oppressors, men of different race, language and 
culture. But notwithstanding all those differences and 
hatred, the relations became gradually more intimate, 
mutually influencing each other, accommodating them- 
selves to each other, until at last they have melted into 
one nation. The old Turanian name of the conquerors, 
Bulgars, was retained as a common name of this mixed 
Turanian-Slav nation. 

The invaders, who arrived as Nomads, gradually 
settled down and became agricultural people like the 
Slavs were. Being in minority by their numbers they 
were obliged to accommodate themselves to the Slav 
race. Their laiiguage was gradually disappearing until 
it was entirely replaced by the Slav language. This 
process of assimilation of the Turanian invaders by the 
Slavs took about 250 years until it was accomplished. 
Accordingly the Slav language, which the Bulgars 
adopted from the conquered Slavs, is the only circum- 
stance which allows them to consider themselves as 
belonging to the Slav group of nations. Otherwise 
there would be no place for them in that group. 

Therefore it is perfectly clear that the Macedonian 
Slavs, Serbs, are something quite different than the 
Slavonised Bulgars. 

Let us now proceed further. 

The territory on which the process of creation of the 
Bulgar nation was accomplished is exactly that one 
which the Bulgars have occupied on their arrival on 



6 MACEDONIA 

the Balkan Peninsula. It does not stretch towards the 
West further of the river Iskra in the contemporary 
Bulgaria. Nor it did stretch towards the South 
further than to the Balkan mountain. Up to the year 
800 the Bulgarian State's boundary on the West was 
formed by Iskra, and till 861 year it did not go further 
southwards than x\]) to the Balkan mountain. The 
difference between the Bulgars, within the boundaries 
which we just indicated, and the Slavs outside those 
boundaries, has been very early pointed out by the 
Byzantine writers. They call " Slovenia " all the 
South-Slav territory from the Adriatic Sea to the 
Mountain of Rhodope, to distinguish it from Bulgaria, 
and the people living in that territory they call 
" Slovens," to distinguish them from the Bulgars. 
Even in our days the Bulgarian nation, living within 
those boundaries, is by all its features quite distinct 
from all other South Slavs. 



When the Tsar of the Bulgars, Assen II., attacked 
suddenly and defeated the Despot of Epirus, Theodor 
Komnene, he became the master of all the territories 
from Adrianople up to Durazzo, including Skoplye and 
Oclirida. Out of gratitude for that victory Assen built 
in his capital, Trnovo, the Church of 40 Martyrs. In 
an inscription in that church he describes how he made 
Despot Theodor his prisoner, and how he had subja- 
gated all the countries, Greek, Albanian and Serb." 
But that Bulgar reign in Macedonia lasted altogether 
only sixteen years. 

The war between the Serbian King Stephen Dechanski 
on one side, and the allied Byzantines, under Andronic 
III. and Bulgars, under their king Michael Shishman, 
and the victory of Dechanski in the battle of Velboozde 
(to-day's Kiustendil) on 2& July, 1330, were of immense 
importance for the solution of the question of the 
supremacy of the Serbs over Bulgars during the entire 
middle age, and for the destiny of Macedonia as well. 



AND THE MACEDONIAN POPULATION. 7 

When in the year 1346 the Serbian Archbishop was 
proclaimed in Macedonia the Patriarch of the Serbs 
and Greeks of the Serb State, the Bulgars not only had 
made no protest, but that proclamation was made with 
the consent of the Bulgarian Patriarch in Trnovo. 

Further, the Bulgars have not protested when, imme- 
diately after that, the Serbian King Dooshan was 
crowned in Macedonia as the Tsar of the Serbs, while 
the Byzantines and the Greeks have made their pro- 
tests. All that Bulgaria did consciously, considering 
Macedonia as Serbian country. 

The Turks have conquered Macedonia after the battle 
on Maritsa (1371) from the Serbs as a Serb country. 
In all the monuments and chronicles, Serb and foreign 
ones, it is reported that in the battle on Maritsa the 
Serb army was defeated, and that in that battle the 
Serb King Vookashin, and some other Serb dynasts, 
perished. 

But even that fateful battle has not destroyed the 
Serb reign in Macedonia, and in that country the Serb 
influence continued to be paramount all up to the 
death of Sultana Mara (1487), the daughter of the 
Serbia's ruler George Brankovich. 

The national consciousness of the Macedonian Serbs 
has been kept alive during the whole time of the 
Turkish reign. 

Whenever since the middle of the XVIIth century 
Austria attacked the Turks, Serbs from all Serb coun- 
tries flocked into the Austrian army as volunteers to 
help to liberate the Serb countries from the Turkish 
yoke. 

Prince Eugen of Savoy, having won the decisive 
victory over the Turks at Zenta in the year 1697, gives 
public and warm praise to the Serb volunteers, who 
have helped essentially to win that fateful victory. 
The Serbs fought under the command of their own 
commander, Voyvode John Monasterly, whose very 
name shows that he was a Serb of Macedonia, and who 
also later was something like a political leader of the 
Serbs in Hungary. 



8 MACEDONIA 

When in 1788 Austria declared war to Turkey, Serbs 
fi'om all Serb territories went as volunteers to join the 
Austrian army to fight for the liberation of Serbia. 
That army had on that occasion nine officers, born 
Serbs of Macedonia, besides other men from that 
country. 

When in the beginning of the XlXth century Serbia 
started her own struggle for liberation, there was not a 
corner of the Serb territories from which Serb volun- 
teers did not hurry to help their brethren. Some of 
the Macedonian Serbs occupy prominent places in the 
history of Serbia's liberation. Whole Macedonia par- 
ticipated by her soul in that liberation, and it could be 
justly said that the great number of the Serbs of 
Macedonia took part in the creation of the free Serbia. 

It is true that the Bulgars in the middle ages reigned 
in Macedonia for a short time. But they took that 
country by the force of arms, without any other right. 
As the Bulgars at that time were only l)y half the Slavs 
and by half the Mongols, could they have the power to 
assimilate the purely Slav element which then lived in 
Macedonia ? Evidently not ! 

And then where is that right on which the Bulgars 
lean when pretending that the Macedonian population 
is of the Bulgar origin, and that therefore Macedonia 
ought to belong to them ? 

Liberated principally by the Rtissian help and co- 
operation of the Serbian nation and its army, the 
Bulgars have since the San Stefano Treaty (1878) con- 
tracted Megalomania and the desire for hegemony in 
the Balkan Peninsula. As it is well known that Treaty 
let Macedonia, large portion of the Old Serbia, and 
even some parts of present Serbia, enter into composi- 
tion of Bulgaria. According to that Treaty Bulgaria 
was to comprise a territory of 164,000 square kilometres 
with 4| million inhabitants. 

The motives, from which General Ignyatiyeff attached 
Macedonia to Bulgaria, were by no means of ethno- 
graphic nature ; they were simply the motives of the 
autocratic Russia's imperialistic policy. 



AND THE MACEDONIAN POPULATION. 9 

Although the Berlin Congress of 1878 had reduced 
the extent of the San Stefano Bulgaria, the Bulgars 
commenced since that time to claim Macedonia as 
rightly belonging to them, and to dream only of Great 
Bulgaria as drawn up in the San Stefano Treaty. For 
some time the Russians encouraged them in that atti- 
tude. Those Russian sympathies for the Bulgarians 
were spread in other countries too, and there are people 
who in consequence believe that after all the Bulgars 
must have had some right on Macedonia. 

In the study of this question it is important to 
remember a fact. After the Serbs in the beginning of 
the XlXth century have succeeded to liberate a part of 
their country by an open and through years sustained 
revolution against the Turks, the Serb people remaining 
under the direct rule of Turkey were bitterly perse- 
cuted, hated and cruelly maltreated by the Turks. No 
Serb was sure of his life or his property. A man ran 
all sorts of risks if he were to call himself a Serb before 
the Turkish authorities or before the Turks, because 
the name " Serb " was a synonyme for a revolutionary 
and an enemy of the Turks. At the same time the 
name " Bulgar " became the synonyme of a quiet, loyal 
and obedient " rayah." Therefore it is not astonishing 
that many a Serb of Macedonia, to protect himself 
against the persecution, answered the question "to 
what nationality you belong ? " by saying that he is a 
Bulgar. That was often the only means to save his 
own life and property, or the life of his family. This 
difi&cult position of the Serl)s in Macedonia the Bulgars 
have later on cleverly exploited, by saying that the 
people of Macedonia call themselves Bulgars, and that 
therefore they really are Bulgars. 

This falsification received a mighty support since the 
creation of the Bulgarian Exarchate in 1870. Having 
obtained the right to have their own bishops, priests 
and teachers in all Turkish territories — which right 
was denied to the Serbs — the Bulgars transformed that 
concession into a mighty instrument of propaganda. 



10 MACEDONIA 

The Russian, Bulgar and Serb churches use the same 
old Slavonic language, which, although not identical 
with the vernacular languages of those peoples, is quite 
near enough to be understood. Placed before the 
alternative, either to continue to attend the Greek 
churches, the Greek language of which they did not 
understand, or to attend the Bulgar churches, the old 
Slavonic language of which they could understand, the 
Serbs of Macedonia naturally decided to attend the 
Bulgar churches. Entering tlius into permanent con- 
nection through life with the Bulgar priests, who 
performed to them all the church rites, baptisms, 
matrimonies, funerals, the Serbs of Macedonia came 
under the permanent influence of the Bulgar political 
propagators. Yet they were able to preserve their 
language, their customs (for instance the " Slava," 
which Bulgars have not) national songs, costumes, &c. 

Having no other schools, except the Bulgar and 
Greek schools, the Serbs were obliged to send their 
children to the Bulgar schools, as the Bulgar language 
by its similarity with the Serl) language was more 
accessible to the children than the Greek language of 
the Greek schools. This school dilemma of the Serbs the 
Bulgar teachers were exploiting for the benefit of the 
Bulgar propaganda. Namely : they declared to the 
Serbs, that they could take their children into the 
Bulgar schools only if they — the parents — declare 
formally that they themselves were Bulgars ! Many 
Serbs, practically having no choice, accepted those 
conditions. But even this moral coercion to the 
denationalisation did not satisfy the Bulgar propaganda. 
It thought it necessary to undertake still more drastic 
measures for the rapid Bulgarisation of Macedonia. 

Namely, dui-ing the last thirty years the Bulgars 
introduced terrorism as their ally in Macedonia. The 
horrible activities of the Bulgar Commitadji's bands 
are well known. By murder and fire they were forcing 
the Serbs of Macedonia to declare themselves to belong 
to the Bulgar nationality ! 



AND THE MACEDONIAN POPULATION. 11 

But even this roughest and most cruel method did 
not succeed to eradicate the national consciousness of 
the Macedonian Serbs. The best proof of that was 
given by the events of 1912, when the victorious Serb 
army liberated the Macedonian people from the Turkish 
yoke of five centuries, and when that people received 
the Serbs as their own brethren and liberators. 



Having so far by the historical facts proved the com- 
plete groundlessness of the Bulgar pretensions on 
Macedonia, it is necessary that we should, for the sake 
of better information, consider and solve the question : 
Which territories properly form Macedonia ? 

The name of Macedonia was limited on the majority 
of the older maps (since the XVIth century), as well as 
on some maps with classical nomenclature or with 
reminiscences on such nomenclature, only on the coast 
around Salonica, the plain of Salonica, especially Cam- 
pagna, and on the territory west and north-west of the 
same, with to-day's Moglena, The principal towns of 
that true Macedonia were Edessa (Voden) and Pella 
(to-day's village Postoe). Later the Macedonian king- 
dom was extended, and the name was given to the 
entire territory of that kjngdom. 

DiflPerent was the conception of Macedonia during 
the time of the Roman Republic and in the beginning 
of the Empire. The Upper Struma and Yardar have 
as yet not belonged to it, but in the beginning Mace- 
donia comprised also Greece up to Morea, Thessaly and 
Epirus, the Southern and Central Albania up to Drim ; 
but since the time of Augustus only the last named 
countries without Greece were comprised in Macedonia. 
In the Byzantine times that conception was often 
changed. 

During the Serbian and Bulgarian conquests the 
name has been almost entirely lost. Btit towards the 
end of the XVth and during the XYIth century many 
Balkan countries, as for instance, Old Sei-bia, Zetta, 



12 MACEDONIA 

Albania, Biilgaria, Bosnia, Hertsegovina, were marked 
as Macedonia. The foreign and national authors com- 
prised all those cou]irries under the name of Macedonia, 
simply, as J. Ruvarats proved it, as a reminiscence on 
the classical world and classical nomenclature. 

Besides this, just mentioned, oldest conception of 
Macedonia, the most competent scientific authority on 
the geography of the Balkan Peninsula, Professor 
Cvijich, of the Belgrade University, has not found any 
confirmation for other historical conceptions of Mace- 
donia. But on many of the mentioned maps ]\Iacedonia 
appears to comprise this territorj^ starting from the 
southern boundary of the Scopska, Crna gora (Kara 
Dagh) down the Vardar to Salonica. Consequently 
Macedonia comprises principally the central and lower 
valley of the Vardar, the country around great lakes 
in the West and up to Struma, and on some points up 
to Mesta in the East. 



What is "Old Serbia" and what are 
HER Boundaries ? 

Now we come to another question, namely : What is 
" Old Serbia " and what are her boundaries ? The 
answer ought to be supplied by historical and scientific 
facts. 

The conception of Old Serbia and Macedonia can be. 
scientifically fixed only on the basis of those maps 
which have appeared before the first decades of the 
XlXth century, before the liberation of Serbia and 
before the appearance of the separate and antagonistic 
Serb and Bulgar tendencies. 

Professor Cvijich has studied all the maps since the 
XVIth century, when better and more complete maps 
of the European countries began to be made, in which 
instead of the classical names the national names of 
the countries, provinces and other geographical objects 



AND THE MACEDONIAN POPULATION. 13 

were introduced. From that time up to the end of the 
XYIIIth centur}- the most exact maps of the Balkan 
Peninsula are the Italian ones, more especially the 
Venetian ones, then the Mercator's maps and those of 
the " French Roj'al Geographers." 

On all those maps the name Serbia stretches to some 
territories to the south of the mountain Sliar and of the 
Skopska Crna Gora. On the maps, made by the 
" Geographers of the Venetian Republic,"* at the name 
of the town Skoplye it is regularly marked '■'Metropolis 
della Sey^viay On great number of maps prepared by 
Joh. Bapt. Homann — from the first half of the XVIIIth 
century — Serbia comprises Skoplye, Kratovo and Kius- 
tendil districts. Macedonia on those maps begins 
considerably to the South from Skoplye. 

On the maps which the heirs of Homann continued 
to publish in the beginning of the XlXth century 
(1802, 1805, etc.). Serbia comprises not only Xovi Bazar 
and Kossovo tei'ritories, but also Seoplye and Kratovo. 
So it was in all better old geographies in which Serbia 
was described by her boundaries. 

Further, it is known that that conception of Serbia 
was not only cartographic and literary, but lived with 
the people themselves. The inhabitants of Kratovo, 
Skoplj^e, Owche Folye called their country always 
Serbian country. Therefore it was quite natural, that 
after the liberation of Serbia, the Skoplye, Kratovo and 
other territories of the Kossovo Vilayet have been called 
Old Serbia for the distinction from the autonomous 
Modern Serbia. 

TJte conception " Old Serbia " has therefore not been 
created for the sake of the natiimal pretensions, and the 
Southern boundaries of Old Serbia must be extended 
beyond Shar Planina, in the main on the territories of 
the former Kossovo Vilayet^ on the territories which 
to-day the Bulgars — as ive have seen — without any 
foundation call Macedonia., only in order to justify 
their claims on that purely Serb country. 

*V. Cornell of 1698 year in Corso Geographico. 



14 MACEDONIA 

Let us now conclude. It is very difficult to draw an 
absolutely exact boundary between the Serb and Bulgar 
elements in Macedonia, taking that country in her 
wider conception. The principal reason for that diffi- 
culty consists in that circumstance, that those two 
peoples — according to their tongue so similar to each 
other — so imperceptibly pass one into the other in the 
limitroph territories, that it is impossible to say quite 
exactly where the Serb ceases and where the Bulgar 
commences. Still less is that possible to fix for the 
earlier periods, that we could be enabled according to 
their ethnographic condition to measure later changes. 

It could he, Jioivever, taken as approximately exact, 
that the ethnogt^aphic boundary between the Serbs and 
Bulgcu's in Macedonia runs by the valley of the river 
Struma. To the East of that line the Bulgar s are in 
majority, and to the West the Serbs. 

The North-Eastern part of Macedonia is inhabited by 
the Bulgar element. Those Bulgars are called SJioppi 
(in plural, Shop in singular). They have emigrated 
into that part of Macedonia from Samokov, Dupnitsa 
and Kiustendil mountainous districts. They occupy 
now the basin of Razlog, the valley of Mesta up to 
Momina Klissura, and also the former Upper Djuma 
district along the Struma up to the town of Melnik. 
Towards the South in this part of the Eastern Mace- 
donia Bulgars are mixed with Turks and Pomaks, and 
on the coast they are mixed with the Greek element. 

The Serb element in the Central and Western Mace- 
donia is mixed with other non-Slav nations — Albanians, 
Turks, Greeks and Arumuns. There are also many, 
and distributed throughout all the countrj-, the so-called 
Muhadjirs (the emigrants) from Serbia, Bulgaria, 
Bosnia, Hertsegovina and Montenegro. Amongst the 
Serbs in Macedonia live also former Christians con- 
verted to Islam. Those of Kichevo call themselves 
Apovtsi, and those of Tikvesh call themselves Turks. 
All the Macedonian converts to Muhammedan faith 
speak Serb language, and have preserved many of the 
Serb customs. 



AND THE MACEDONIAN POPULATION. 15 

The Turkish population of Macedonia can be divided 
in three great groups, one of the Sea-coast, one of the 
Vardar, and the third one of Sari-Gyol. Besides those 
three groups there are Turks also living in all the towns 
of Macedonia. 

The Greek population of Macedonia forms two special 
settlements, one on the South-East of Macedonia on 
the yEgean coast, and the other in the vallej^ of the 
river Bistritsa, in the Western Macedonia. 

Arumuns are the Roman nation in the Balkan Penin- 
sula. They have two distinct tribes, the Karaguns and 
Farsherioti. Arumuns are to be found in all parts of 
Macedonia as tradesmen, innkeepers and shepherds. 
The Arumiins of Moglena form a third group, occupied 
by agriculture. 

The Albanians live mixed with Serbs in the North- 
Western part of Macedonia. 

Jews are to be found in towns, but most of them in 
Salonica. 

Gipsies are dispersed everywhere in the country. 

And at last — there are Circassians in the district of 
Seres. 



Examining all the written monuments with reference 
to the Slavs of Macedonia, from the oldest time to the 
XlXth century, there is not a single monument in 
which the Macedonians had called themselves Bulgars, 
or their language the Bulgarian language. 



ttLltBURV SUPPLY CO. PRINTERS j CREEO LANE. LONSON, E.C.